Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Availability

Open Access Thesis

Abstract

This thesis explores Pepe the Frog, a comic book character that became a meme, then went mainstream, and then became appropriated by the Alt-Right in support of the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Users in the Internet have declared this meme a god, others have claimed it as a piece of crypto-art, while White Nationalists use it to propagate their ideology. I draw on McGee’s notion of the ideograph to argue that, in a networked environment characterized by limited attention and heightened speed of circulation, memes have the capacity to ideologically condense publics. This gives rise to what I label the memegraph. The memegraph accounts for the birth, evolution, and constitution of publics around nascent, memetic ideographs. By inspecting the role of time and attention in memetic media, and examining the circulation of verbal and visual arguments, this thesis conceptualizes the role of memetic media in constituting and mobilizing publics,

Year of Submission

2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Department of Communication Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Ryan McGeough, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original

5-7-2019

Object Description

1 PDF (IV, 118)

Language

en

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